Bike To The Beat: Songs For The Urban Cyclist

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Riders beware: Urban cycling is not for the faint of heart. Pierre LaScott/Flickr hide caption

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Riders beware: Urban cycling is not for the faint of heart.

Pierre LaScott/Flickr

Too busy to exercise? Too poor for a gym membership? Don't let excuses sideline your pursuit of fitness. Dust off the old bicycle, pump up the tires, oil the chain and pedal to the metal. You'll feel the burn no matter what you're riding, from a trendy fixed gear to a sleek carbon roadster to a knobby-tired Kmart mountain bike.

Riders beware, though: Urban cycling is not for the faint of heart. You respectfully share the road, of course, but you will be confronted by reckless drivers and the occasional angry pedestrian. But you're a warrior, so ride like one. Don't forget to bring your battle gear: a helmet, some LED lights and, of course, a dose of healthy aggression.

These six songs were chosen to inspire you as you embark on your daily two-wheeled journey. So strap a boombox to those handlebars, crank it up (not too loud, because the sounds of the streets are vital in the battle of bike vs. car) and pedal to the beat.

Bike To The Beat: Songs For The Urban Cyclist

Broken West album

Perfect Games

  • Artist: The Broken West
  • Album: Now or Heaven
  • Song: Perfect Games

It's a perfectly cool morning, the sun's out and the wind is in your hair. Arriving to work only means these small pleasures will be taken away from you, so take your time. Sit back in the saddle and pedal leisurely to the pop-rock of The Broken West. The infectious melody of "Perfect Game" injects the ideal amount of optimism to the start of your day.

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Song
Perfect Games
Album
Now or Heaven
Artist
The Broken West
Label
Merge
Released
2008

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The Fitness album

Analog Synths

  • Artist: The Fitness
  • Album: Call Me for Together

You're enjoying the road and all of its obstacles when a driver drifts treacherously close. When you catch up to him at the next red light, you cast a few glares his way to let him know that he endangered your life. He's too busy texting to notice, of course. Time to wipe that smile off your face and amp up the aggression. Pedal harder to "Analog Synths" by aptly named electro-pop band The Fitness. After all, urban Darwinism doesn't favor the meek.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Analog Synths
Album
Call Me for Together
Artist
The Fitness
Label
Control Group/TCG
Released
2003

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Cover for Singles 93-03 [Bonus Disc]

Golden Path

  • Artist: The Chemical Brothers
  • Album: Singles 93-03 [Bonus Disc]
  • Song: The Golden Path

Keep the pace, but let that aggression simmer. A reminder of one's own mortality can be healthy and refreshing! If you're having trouble appreciating your near-death experience, The Chemical Brothers will help you along. Featuring vocals by Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, "The Golden Path" will have you bopping to the steady beat of cosmic reflection until you reach your office destination.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
The Golden Path
Album
Singles 93-03 [Bonus Disc]
Artist
The Chemical Brothers
Label
Astralwerks
Released
2003

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Tanlines album

s.a.w.

  • Artist: Tanlines
  • Album: (no album)
  • Song: s.a.w.

After eight hours under fluorescent lights, you're free and it's time to celebrate. The cars may be gridlocked, but you're cruising toward home. Let joy overtake you with "s.a.w." by Brooklyn-based duo Tanlines. Not too fast and not too slow, it's the perfect segue from work to play.

This song isn't available for purchase, but Tanlines' Settings EP is available on Amazon.

Cover for A2G

Alphabet Aerobics (The Cut Chemist 2 1/2 Minute Workout)

  • Artist: Blackalicious
  • Album: A2G

Time to kick it up a notch with aerobics of a different kind. Stand up on the pedals and speed through the intersections with Blackalicious' tongue-twisting alliterations. Can you keep up with the accelerating beat?

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Alphabet Aerobics (The Cut Chemist 2 1/2 Minute Workout)
Album
A2G
Artist
Blackalicious
Label
3-2-1 Records
Released
1999

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Bikini album

Tonight

  • Artist: Bikini
  • Album: Concerning The Number 7 And Your Love
  • Song: Tonight

For the bike commuter, the day begins and ends on a bike -- even if your last journey is home from the bar. Finish it off with this synth-pop gem by Bikini, and look forward to tomorrow's adventure on two wheels.

Purchase the album on Amazon.

Purchase Featured Music

Singles 93-03 [Bonus Disc]

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Singles 93-03 [Bonus Disc]
Artist
The Chemical Brothers
Label
Astralwerks
Released
2003

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

A2G

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
A2G
Artist
Blackalicious
Label
3-2-1 Records
Released
1999

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

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